Jenny - Clean

THE WEDNESDAY WHINGE is back for 2017 and won’t be dispensing with its theme which allows contributors to have their say on the THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY side of what is happening in racing. Thanks again for your support for the most read column on this website. Popularity of the Whinge continues to grow despite the bagging it cops from some high profile racing identities, who cannot cope with criticism of any kind and are too used to the spin doctor treatment they have received for too long from many in the mainstream media. We encourage the critics to continue to contribute and will provide a platform for them to air their grievances provided they remain balanced and constructive and do not border on defamation.



AS A TRAINER OF MANY YEARS STANDING IN SOUTH-EAST QUEENSLAND, you can understand my request for anonymity in the views I am about to express. The last thing my owners need is for our stable to suffer as a result of something that needs to be said but most are reluctant or too afraid to say.

If I take a well fancied horse to the races and put it in a position in running that gives that starter little or no chance of winning then the chances are that I will be charged. That was why they introduced the Rule of ‘failing to position a horse to give it every possible chance’ because stewards found it almost impossible to sustain the more serious allegation of ‘failing to allow a horse to run on its merits’.

Whether a trainer likes it or not if he has a back-marker running on the new Eagle Farm track on most race days he has little or no chance of winning before that horse even jumps from the barriers. Such is the way the track plays that it grossly favors the on-pacers and those settling just off the pace.

We’ve heard all the hype from the spin doctors for the club that the track is going to be one of the best in the land and perhaps one day it will. They want to highlight race tempo rather than bias when it comes to defending it. Let’s just take a look at Saturday’s racing when there was quite a deal at stake in prizemoney and bonuses.

Those who want to pump up the tyres of the new track will highlight the quality and class of some of the winners that raced on the pace along with the five track records that were run.

But those who want to take a more objective view – sparing a thought for the poor old punters who do the form believing they will be betting on a level playing field – might counter with some interesting other facts.

With the exception of one, every winner on the eight race card either led or raced on the pace (none was further back than fourth on the turn except for Cylinder Beach in the Bernborough which stuck to the fence making its run home from sixth on the turn). Any horse with a get back, run on pattern had next to no hope at all, especially if it tried to come wide.

There is no doubting that Winning Rupert would have won his $500,000 bonus regardless of track conditions but in the case of Most Important one could question whether he had an unfair advantage in the Buffering Quality. One might suggest that Too Good To Refuse would have blown him away had the track been a level playing field. But while Most Important was a heavily backed favorite the pattern of the day saw the better horse, Too Good To Refuse, blow like a gale before charging home from 10th on the turn for what was a most unlucky fourth (blame it on the track bias).

Now let’s get back to my original point. If I start a horse (under normal circumstances) and stewards deem it does not have every chance of winning or obtaining the best possible place then I run the risk of being charged. Yet on Saturday many trainers were forced to start horses that had no hope of being placed to have every chance of winning yet no-one was charged. Of course, the trainer and jockey couldn’t be blamed for the track and nor could the stewards for not charging them. And it would have been suicidal and detrimental to the horses’ chances to reverse its normal race pattern and charge forward.

The bottom line is that Racing Queensland should force the Brisbane Racing Club to show cause why they should be allowed to continue to race when every starter cannot be guaranteed its chance of winning or obtaining the best possible place.

Of course that sounds over the top and won’t happen but once again the big losers are the punters, not to mention the trainers and owners of horses that have to wait for a couple of races to be run at Eagle Farm to determine whether they have a chance of winning or not.

It’s simply a farce. Take the connections of horses brought from the south hoping to qualify for a Magic Millions berth that were back-markers on Saturday. They might as well have stayed at home. Their horses had no hope.

At the end of the day this will continually be placed in the too hard basket. The racing media will say next to nothing about it fearing they might offend those in charge. Trainers who rely on Eagle Farm for trackwork and stabling will whinge in whispers about the problem. And nothing will be done. Then when the track problems are finally solved the BRC will be hailed heroes for fighting the good fight to silence the critics and establish a track that is up there with the best. What a joke!’

EDITOR’S NOTE: Whilst I agree with much of the sentiment expressed about the far from level playing field being served up at Eagle Farm, it wasn’t the only track favoring the on-pacers over the holiday weekend. Geelong was next to a disgrace for punters on Monday. Anything back in the field faced an enormous to impossible task.



BRAD MORTON of MELBOURNE has his say on the defeat of BLACK CAVIAR’S little girl:

‘I don’t want to sound like a cynic but it’s almost a relief that Black Caviar’s little girl Oscietra got beaten at her race debut.

The expectation and hype whipped up by the mainstream media – many of whom take little notice of racing unless there is a scandal or controversy – was over the top.

There are those who will say it was good for racing. Veteran followers of the sport could not recall anything like the interest in a first starter which Oscietra attracted before Sunday’s race. Amazingly, large queues formed outside the gates at Flemington an hour before the gates were opened.

Jockey Luke Nolen put the debut third into perspective suggesting a rod may have been lifted from the filly’s back – not to mention that of trainer David Hayes and the connections, many of whom were used to it from the heady days of her champion mum.

“We should probably stop the comparisons and parallels with mum now,” Nolen said.

The big winners, as usual were the bookmakers, who opened Oscietra at a ridiculously short price of $1.5 before easing here to black odds that unfortunately even the small, sentimental punters could get their fingers burnt at.

Nolen was again correct when he said expectations were too high for Oscietra. “She opened at $1.50. Mum trialed better and she went round at $3.50 after she had stopped the clock at Cranbourne at 46 seconds flat and I wasn’t doing anything on her.

“She hadn’t trialed that good and she opened up shorter, so I think there’s a bit of public opinion about this horse before she has got to the races but there were more cheers than jeers coming in.”

That’s good because now the pressure’s off. There will probably never be another Black Caviar. Let’s live with those memories and remind ourselves that much success still lies ahead for her little daughter even though she will continue to race in mum’s shadow.’



CHARLIE ANDERSON of MELBOURNE fires a volley at the Sydney media for their continued ‘love affair’ with Racing NSW CEO Peter V’landys:

‘NO year would have been complete without the Racing NSW media spin doctors pumping out a piece on the wonderful job done by their main man Peter V’landys.

It was the usual finger-down-the-throat stuff from the Sydney Racing Editor who most in the industry believe loves to communicate the V’landy’s message to the industry masses.

‘NSW has regained its premier state status with soaring prizemoney levels for city, provincial and country centres and the continued emergence of The Championships,’ Razor Thomas roared heaping praise on the CEO of racing in glum city.    

Fortunately Thomas did show on ounce of objectivity when he wrote:

‘But the job is not yet done for Racing NSW as the sport’s controlling authority looks to tackle a number of issues, including further boosting returns to owners and racing industry participants, improving racetracks and infrastructure, and increasing field sizes.’

In his exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph’s main racing man, V’landy’s looked back at 2016 along with what he sees in store for racing in 2017.

Q: What are the major issues confronting NSW racing in 2017?

A: Prizemoney is still not at the level we need it to be. We must continue striving for new revenue. We also need to ensure our tracks and training facilities are of the best standard. As I have said many times, “no stage, no show”.

We have spent in excess of $50 million on tracks and training facilities in the last four years. We have employed 26 apprentice track curators based in every area of NSW to ensure we have succession planning which accordingly provides the necessary resources to have our tracks in the best condition. Punters must have tracks that are conducive to competitive racing and that the surface is one which has no bias.

Integrity is also top of the list. The board has a zero tolerance when it comes to integrity breaches and we will continue to invest heavily in this area to make sure punters have 100 per cent confidence at all times.

Q: Will we see international competition for The Championships in Sydney during the autumn?

A: Every year will be different when it comes to international horses. There will be years we will be inundated and other years where there will be a shortage. This is made harder as we only go for the topliners as The Championships are for the best, and accordingly we will not have internationals who are not competitive just for the sake of it.

Q: Is NSW in a prizemoney race with Victoria?

A: No, that’s another beat-up. As I said previously, our job is to maximise the returns to our shareholders, which are our participants. Accordingly, as racing is a competition sport, the best way to distribute these dividends is through prizemoney.

Q: You are always looking at ways to improve field sizes. But does anyone have the answer to this issue?

A: There are a multitude of variables that affect field sizes. One silent effect on metropolitan field sizes has been the exporting of horses to Asia. The horses that are bought (to race in Asia) have already raced and have shown ­potential. We lose approximately 80 per year.

When you consider a horse may have a racing life of three years, the 80 figure compounds to 160 in the second year and 240 in the third year. Most of these horses are metropolitan standard.

Our analysis shows this equates to the loss of more than one starter per metropolitan race. That’s nine starters for a Saturday meeting.

The prizemoney increase should assist in retaining these better-quality horses. The compressed weights have also been a major factor.

So there you go, it’s not a race to upstage Victoria. Surely, the New Year wish on everyone’s lips south of the border hasn’t been answered already. Could those running the show at Racing NSW finally have accepted that they will always run a distant second to Victoria when it comes to comparisons between the Spring and the Autumn, field quality and size all year round, integrity of the sport and most of all attracting race crowds?’



RATHER than ‘name names’ and risk the opportunity for certain individuals to waste valuable industry funds on attempting to take legal action against us, we are adopting a new approach this year.

Send us your rumors and gripes and we will have them edited by our lawyers. In most cases identities of contributors and individuals about whom you are writing will be omitted but as we all know in the racing industry it doesn’t take long to find out who you are referring to:



SURELY this cannot be correct but the rumor mill in the area is adamant that a prominent director of a race club instructed the track manager to allow horses trained by someone close to his family to participate in an unofficial trial without the presence of an ambulance.

Several trainers in the region are up in arms and the matter is the subject of a complaint that will be forward to the Integrity Department in the state concerned not to mention questions being asked of those who rode the horses as to whether they were covered by insurance had an injury or fall occurred during the trial.

The above complaint was forwarded to us by prominent trainers in the region who say they are still waiting for stewards or integrity to take some action regarding this issue.



THOSE who follow racing closely want to know how a trainer can be charged with taking a horse to a track with an illegal substance in its system but escape the more serious offence of administering the drug.

This seems to be happening all over Australia with trainers being handed down heavy fines rather than suspensions or disqualifications, which is raising quite a few eyebrows, within and outside the industry.

If the trainer who was found guilty of taking the horse to the track with a drug in its system wasn’t the one who administered it – then who did? If it wasn’t he, or someone who works for him (and the buck stops with the trainer), then did the tooth fairy deliver it?




SOME key identities in the racing media in Queensland don’t seem to like the crew at

Perhaps they are sniping because these better read young writers dare to be objective on all things racing, including what is happening in the state regarded a major joke by the rest of the country.

The latest criticism came when expressed what most were saying after RQ CEO Dr Eliot Forbes declared in a ‘suck-up interview’ on SKY Central that his ‘bet of the day’ was the long odds-on Winning Rupert.

Just goes to show that the ‘good doctor’ has his finger on the pulse of all things racing in Queensland and that the interviewer knows how to back a winner in and out of the saddle.

And by the way make sure you bookmark It’s one of the best racing reads on the web.     



THE form reversals of a leading stable in a leading racing state continue to anger punters and some rival trainers.

Horses go from last to first in the space of a week – the high profile trainer involved just puts it down to one of those things – and that’s the end of the story.

It’s not a good look from a punting perspective and gives the impression that the trainer in question can do as he likes. In the Christmas period there were at least five examples of massive form reversals and next to nothing was done about it by the stewards.



A race at a major provincial track in the state attracting the national spotlight at present is the matter of much discussion and controversy.

A leading jockey got lost on a favorite that looked like a good thing and, as usual, not a question was asked. Perhaps this was because it was the last on the day and the stewards just wanted to get on the road and battle the traffic snarl home.

Had they taken the time to have a look at Betfair their attitude might have been different. The favorite in question, which should have bolted in, was laid for a stack and duly delivered a handsome return to all but those poor mugs that thought it was a ‘good thing’.



IN case you missed it this wonderful piece was written by HANS EBERT on the Racing B*tch out of Hong Kong. We are sure he won’t mind us reproducing it.  

WHAT has not been written is what can be done to keep out the Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor, The Tennis Player, and other vultures and parasites hovering around, especially young jockeys, who are perhaps not the most streetwise, and like the serpent offering the apple to Adam, playing on their vulnerability to be Oliver Twisted by handing them something rotten to the core.

Do these characters – these pox on society – exist everywhere there’s horse racing? Probably. It’s certainly no secret that, like fleas, they’re all over horse racing in Singapore and Malaysia, which is why these racing jurisdictions are often banished to the wilderness and not taken seriously.

Before the Macau Racing Club became Le Rue Morgue, and looked like being a healthy, thriving, young racing club, it didn’t take long for the “dark invaders” to move in with some racing executives laying out the Welcome mat for them.

Even in Hong Kong, where Integrity issues are of paramount importance, and nipped in the bud before the Barbarians at the gate break through, there have been those few times when they have sneaked through the net. The Chris Munce “Tips For Bets” case involving one particular group of “investors” led by “Cosmo Kramer”, which led to the arrest of the then-jockey, struck a timely dose of fear to some riding here at the time, who had never heard of the saying, “You’re judged by the company you keep.” The arrest of Chris Munce quickly stopped the meetings with “Cosmo, Jerry and George” at popular meeting places like the Captain’s Bar and the Champagne Bar.

With James McDonald having suffered a brain freeze, and, instead of a Dutch Connection, falling in with the character known as “The Tennis Player” aka big noting, well-known racing groupie and serial braggart Anthony Gardiner, begs the question as to how widespread is this type of “tennis squad”, who are their cahoots, and how and whether their big dollar punting tentacles affect the rank and file punter through the manipulation of odds?

Those who loathe the elitism of horse racing in Australia should be more fearful of gangsterism entering and controlling the sport. All those references to the “colourful characters” of horse racing is the polite way of calling someone a crook. And these days, when emails are forwarded, exchanged, and many are privy to all types of information- which owners are unable to pay training fees, who’s zooming who, those living a lie on the racing twitterverse, it’s a little odd that many racing writers can reveal names, dates and betting plunges, but suffer from George Castanza-type shrinkage when asked what all those highly-paid racing executives and racing ministers are doing – if anything – to stop the rot.

Why would someone in Hong Kong even care about the James McDonald case instead of sitting back and just lovin’ it all unfold? It has to do with being a racing fan, and protecting the image of horse racing to ensure that nothing leads to a No Confidence vote in the sport. This case involving one of Australia’s most high profile jockeys riding for the powerful Godolphin racing group, who’s ridden in Hong Kong and is known to the city’s racing fans, opens up many different topics for conversations. It also opens up a can of new worms.

Will this affect confidence in betting on Australian racing? How will any of this help the image of racing in Australia from a global perspective? Is James McDonald’s eighteen month suspension fair when compared to the kid gloves suspension handed down to one senior jockey that gave him ten months to improve his golf game during the winter months? Something doesn’t add up? But maybe our maths are wrong, Batman.

From the few times we’ve spoken to James McDonald, he’s come across as a nice enough young man, who had the racing world at his feet and a huge future in store with Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin organisation and global brand. Let’s not forget how this brand was tarnished by the high profile doping scandal case involving former Godolphin trainer Mahmood al Zarooni.

Some are saying that, financially, James McDonald is set for life with his investments in property and other businesses. But being able to take sitting out eighteen months on the sidelines and not able to do what he was born to do – ride some of the best horses in the world to win – will need great human resolve.

Of course, he will make a comeback, and some who have been in similar predicaments have returned and taken up from where they left off. But apart from Frankie Dettori, none of these comebacks involved working for a global racing organisation as big as Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin brand.

What still needs answering is what, if anything, is being done to keep the parasites away from feeding on those in horse racing. And not only jockeys. This is where hard-nosed investigative journalism comes into play. But from the outside looking in, racing in Australia doesn’t have a Woodward and Bernstein. When push comes to shove, it has a number of lightweight Lois Lanes and Jimmy Olsens.

For the most part, these are racing reporters – racing reporters either fed stories to manipulate and hide the truth, or else taking a story only so far before fear takes over as gigs are at stake, and where questioning those in authority can lead to having the rug pulled from under you. Just ask Kenny Callander. How many of Mr Callander’s peers jumped to his defence when “they” tried to silence him for questioning authority? Did anyone? Or was he fed to the wolves with there being no moral outrage other than some mild-mannered token hand wringing? The hypocrisy of it all is sickening.

Has anyone really questioned those racing administrators with the power to bring about closure to the long drawn out horse opera involving trainer Kate Goodrich, where she alleges bullying, harassment in the workplace, the disclosure of her private medical records, and financial losses? Why has this case been allowed to drag on and on and on since around 2013 with no signs of closure? How many more tweets can she send out about the same old story before the racing twitterverse implodes? Before at least one top banana responds? Silence is not golden. It speaks volumes.

Adopting a silence of the lambs attitude in the hope that “the crazy woman”, who continues to take on all of those protected species involved in racing in Victoria, will meekly go away is not a smart business strategy, not when her case becomes part of a laundry list of unresolved complaints against RVL that seem certain to have the Rules of Racing being taken on by the Court of Public Appeal.

Call her what you will, but Kate Goodrich is not going away even if there’s an offer on the table. She’s demanding “justice for all”, accountability, a public apology by all those who have waltzed around her case, and doesn’t give a damn what people think of her and the story that refuses to go away. It shouldn’t be brushed under the carpet when one examines all the facts and findings that bear out her revolt against the system. The system is stuffed. And despite what some may think, she’s not some devious woman holding out for a big payout.

Surely, with the James McDonald case having more holes in it than a slab of cheddar cheese, it’s high time those being paid the big bucks to keep horse racing on the straight and narrow be forced to get off their backsides, bring about closure, revisit all the recent cases that have received zero responses and are left hanging in limbo, prove to racing fans the world over that everything is above board and under control, and that racing administrators are capable of doing more than holding corporate “pow wows” behind closed doors, and answering soft ball questions lobbed their way on radio stations every time there’s the slightest hint of the natives getting too restless, and a Braveheart stepping in?

If these racing administrators are still unable or incapable to bring about closure to all of this, it only proves that a fish stinks from the head down, and that horse racing in Australia might have a glorious past, but it has no future with the Fat Lady having been clearing her throat for the last couple of years.

The irony is that the present and future of racing in Australia is tarnished by those very same people allowed to continue playing the role of sanctimonious political windbags along with those somehow managing to become decision makers, but scared to make a decision, and who clueless as to how to put their Humpty Dumpty house in order. Who hired these clowns? And why? Basil Fawlty?


DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in the above e-mails should not be interpreted as those of JOHN LINGARD, the owner-editor of the letsgohorseracing web-site. That is why he has added an ‘EDITOR’S NOTE’. Every endeavor is made to verify the authenticity of contributors. We welcome any reasonable and constructive responses from parties or individuals.

Join Us on Facebook

Racing News

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Getaway & Go Racing &
Day at the Races FREE Ratings
BN: 55127167

Login Form